Kari, an expat from Finland asked me a week ago about places to rent a bicycle in Yekaterinburg.
As summer is coming, bicycle rentals are opening in every district. You can also get a bicycle in the large city parks, for example on Shartash Lake. Read how to rent a bicycle on Shartash here:
The best rental place for tourists is in the city center. Every summer a white minivan is parked on the eastern river bank near the Kosmos cinema.
I like this mini-rental on wheels because they have convenient opening hours: Mon – Fri from 5pm to 10pm; Sat-Sun 10am to 10pm
Probably it’s not ideal on working days but don’t forget that we have white nights in the Urals and it’s getting dark after 10pm in summer!
Price: 1 hour – 150rub
2 hours – 200 rub
5 to 24 hrs – 400rub
7 days – 1500rub
To rent a bicycle at any place, you should give your passport for security or leave 3000rub as a deposit.
How to find: just look for a white minvan loaded with bicycles. It’s parked on the river in front of the Kosmos cinema. To find the cinema: from Church on the Blood go down to the river. The cinema will be on your right and the rental on your left. Enjoy your ride!
Summer is short, so don’t miss a chance to do a short eco-tour to Lake Shartash. You can walk in the forest, climb ancient rocks, ride a bicycle, go swimming and sunbathing on the beach, what’s more it’s all within Yekaterinburg so you don’t need a car to get there!
Shartash in the east of Yekaterinburg is one of the oldest lakes in the Urals - 1 million years old. It has a shape of a bean; its area is 7 sq.km. Shartash means a yellow stone therefore don’t be afraid of the yellowish waters – it’s not dangerous for swimming. First gold in the Urals was discovered in the lake area in 1745. The bottom of the lake has granite deposits and sapropel.
Getting there: from Lenin Prospect you can go by trams 8,13,15,23,32, “A” or any mini bus that has a weird abbreviation ‘40 let VLKSM’ (in English it means ‘40 years of All-Union Leninist Young Communist League’ – it’s actually the name of a tram stop) You need to get off at Kamennie Palatki on Viysotskogo Street. Cross the street, you will see a big sign Shartashsky Les (forest of Shartash) and stone steps leading up the rock. Climb the steps and you get to Kamennie Palatki:
Kamennie Palatki (stone tents) is something of the same significance in Russia as Stonehenge in England. The natural monument of the Iron Age is a wall of granite formed by the volcano eruption. Granite layers look like piles of huge pancakes. Archeologists found out that ancient people used the place as an altar.
Nowadays Yekaterinburgers bring food and drinks to Kamennie Palatki too, but instead of sacrifice they make picnics.
Get down back to the street and walk about 400 m. eastward, the forest is on your left. Turn left in front of the petrol station. Cross a railway crossing. To rent a bicycle walk straight on to the forest, the lake is on your right. Continue walking till you see a sign on your right Sportivnaya Baza. Alternatively, from the railway crossing turn right and walk to Sundali Beach http://www.sundali-land.ru
Bicycle rentals are open daily from 10a.m. to 8p.m. 1 hour is 100-200roubles. Bring a passport or driver’s license with you to rent a bicycle. Don’t worry about the passport - it’s a common practice in Russia when a rental company keeps your document while you keep a bicycle.
The cycling trail around the lake is 12.5 km. Near the village of Shartash you have to cycle about 2 km on the highway as there is no trail by the lake which is inconvenient especially with children. My favourite route is along the lake anti-clockwise to Izoplit village and back. It takes one hour and apart from peaceful nature you will see an interesting site in Izoplit: shabby wooden huts standing next to mansions of rich Yekaterinburgers:
And on the opposite side of the same street...
Shartash is a closed lake. It has about 50 springs and no outflows. The lake is getting shallow; it’s now 2-3m. deep and scientists predict it may turn into a swamp in 50-70 years. I hope you will find some time to visit this beautiful ancient lake before it disappears.
Whenever I have a day off in summer I go to Shartash for a ride. You are more than welcome to join me 😉